North Carolina had 527 yards in a 41-10 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday ahead of its game at the Miami football program this Saturday. Miami faces a big challenge defensively after routinely getting burned by Middle Tennessee State in a 45-31 loss last week. North Carolina had 12 completions of at least 15 yards.
North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye has 39 passes of 15 or more yards and 17 of 25 plus in five Tar Heels’ games in 2022. The Miami football team ranked 108th nationally through week four with 17 pass plays of 20 or more yards allowed. Five different UNC receivers had at least a 20-yard reception versus Virginia Tech.
North Carolina also had 160 yards rushing versus Virginia Tech. Maye ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Miami has struggled this season and in the recent past versus mobile QBs. The Hurricanes enter next Saturday with a three-game losing streak versus the Tar Heels. Miami and UNC will kick off at 4:00 PM on ESPN 2.
Josh Downs, the top receiver for North Carolina had eight receptions for 120 yards for North Carolina versus Virginia Tech. Downs led all players on the preseason All-ACC team with 128 votes. Downs has 22 receptions for 230 yards and four TDs in four games this season. Downs missed the Appalachian State game with an injury.
Tight end Byron Nesbitt leads North Carolina with 237 yards on 14 receptions and is tied for second behind Downs with four TDs. The Miami secondary will be challenged by a North Carolina receiving corps with six players with at least 10 receptions. Miami is 94th in pass defense after the games completed in week five.
Miami faces North Carolina after cornerbacks Darryl Porter Jr. and Tyrique Stevenson suffered injuries versus Middle Tennessee State. Porter and Stevenson each played 20 snaps versus Middle Tennessee State. Miami needs Stevenson, it’s best CB, healthy versus North Carolina to likely matchup versus Downs.